Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Mount Townsend, Welch, Hawk & Silver Lake Peaks

A beautiful area, but Silver Lake can be crowded on weekends.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Our route for the 2 leisurely days we were attempting peaks.

    Day 1:  Mt Townsend Lower TH to Mt Townsend to Welch Peak to Silver Lake to camp.52211757353_67d520b4a4_o.jpg

    Day 2:  Silver Lake to Hawk Peak to an attempt on Mt Worthington back to Silver Lake Peak to Silver Lake camp.  Out on Day 3.


Four star rating due to lack of views.  This trip almost didn't happen due to the poor weather forecasts, but we decided to give it a try anyways.

The 4 of us left the Mt Townsend Lower Trailhead around 9:30am and met our 5th participant at the upper TH about 10am.   The pink rhododendrons along the trail were beautiful.52210941755_48f5217553_o.jpgWe dropped our overnight packs at Camp Windy thinking we might return to camp here due to the weather.  After a break we headed for Mt Townsend with hopes the sky might clear later in the day.  We were fortunate enough to get a brief glimpse of the summit as we got closer.52210943930_886ecac738_o.jpgIt's still early when we return to Camp Windy so we decide to continue to the Welch Peak junction.  Once there we wait and wait for the clouds to clear.   A little nap never hurts either.52210456116_d3be463b5c_o.jpgIt never does, but we decide to head for Welch's summit anyways.  On route to Welch Peak.


52210478618_c8df776952_o.jpgNo views from the summit so we quickly head back to the junction to pick up our packs. This fun and short scramble is only about a mile roundtrip.52209454727_e01e2b80f5_o.jpgIt's a little over 2 miles to reach Silver Lake from Welch's junction, but it takes us at least an additional half hour to find a campsite.   The place is so crowded.  We end up having to split up with 3 in 1 spot and 2 in another.  52210632381_3b6a2e9fe7_o.jpgNo one is very excited to get up early the next day if the forecast remains the same.  We decide to meet at 8am for breakfast to discuss what to do.  

Unfortunately, it's another day in the clouds so we don't leave camp till about 10am. Looking back at the lake as we head to the saddle east of Hawk Peak.52210655793_4b740e44ff_o.jpgAt the saddle looking down.  A large patch of snow drops down from the saddle, but it's easy to avoid.  52210656083_657739f9f3_o.jpgFrom the saddle we head west following a fairly well defined boot path for Hawk Peak.52210633271_a45c6dc004_o.jpgRight before we arrive Hawk's southern ridge the clouds separate briefly for us to get a view.52209629822_f1b9f5b711_o.jpgOn the ridge with the summit just ahead.52210656963_7184f0468b_o.jpgSoon we're on the summit and looking down on Silver Lake.   52210657373_7525381c9b_o.jpgWe don't stay long and return to the Hawk Peak turn off.52209630777_5da5f9354a_o.jpgWe continue west for Mt Worthington, but decide to bail about 500' below the NE peak of Mt Worthington.  The scrambling is getting more difficult, but the main reason is because we can't see anything.  I took no photos  except for the start of the harder section.  We are down climbing a Class 3/4 section with no holds.  I am sure we would have started earlier and continued had we had some views.  52211868670_b4cc915718_o.jpgFrom here we retraced our steps back to the saddle and then hiked to the summit of Silver Lake Peak.   We found a much better trail for the descent that got us back to our camps around 6pm.

The next morning was beautiful.  We had a leisurely breakfast near the now the empty lake before hiking out.  Why couldn't the weather have been like this yesterday?52212012194_24e203b03b_o.jpg52211736796_09e0c3afcd_o.jpgA pano of the beauty we missed the last 2 days.52211784819_b88f8f0813_o (1).jpgFour peaks for this wonderful group of strong and fun Mountaineer women!   52210732182_4852823cc7_o.jpg